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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pet Blogger Challenge 2012

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Pet Blogger ChallengeLooking back over last year's Challenge for All Things Dog Blog, I anticipated a drowsy, incoherent answer to many of the questions. I had just returned from a 30+ hour trip home from Thailand when I realized the deadline was imminent. To say I wrote the Challenge in less than 30 minutes may sound ridiculous, but it is true.  So I was pleasantly surprised to reread it and see that I didn't come off as a complete drunk. Let's move on to this year's version:

  1. My Pet Blog Challenges! is my post from 2011. 
  2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year's post? Networking, increasing my postings, and getting involved in some blog hops.
  3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year? Happily, I have made some progress. Global Pet Expo 2011, Blogpaws 2011 and Barkworld 2011 were all on my agenda this year, allowing me to get out and meet more of the people in our industry. I have a long way to go, but the journey has commenced. Postings are daily and often I manage multiple posts, although not daily. I continue to be amazed at those who can do more without staff! Participating in blog hops has been fun, yet sometimes disorienting. I have to remember not to let them rule my schedule and planning for my own blog and my goals for it. Fido's Freebie Friday giveaway blog hop, co-hosted with Doggies and Stuff, highlights pet products and pet lover items. It has grown slowly, and hopefully will continue to do so. This is a wonderful way for bloggers to show off their pet-related giveaways and prizes of all sorts.
  4. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed? Which are you doing now? Do you still worry about lost traffic, momentum, etc? I continue to follow a schedule as a general rule, but sometimes have a change up when needed. New features and the schedule itself are, to some extent, designed to help with traffic issues. I've also learned to use the slower days to my advantage.
  5. Are you generating income from your blog? Has this changed since last year? Income from the blog has grown markedly, allowing me to get help with repetitive tasks. It feels good to be one of those small businesses that is providing a part time job to the lagging economy.
  6. If you are generating income, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)? All of the examples listed here are in play. More are in the works.
  7. If not currently, do you hope to in the future--and how? By sticking to my niche I hope to grow my opportunities to be of service to brands that I believe in and increase event promotion planning that began in late 2011. New ideas are in development and I am excited about growing this service for Charity fundraising, as well. Super Dog Sunday is a charity photo contest and blog hop that will benefit Petfinder. Dogtipper is joining me in this effort, and all proceeds will go to the Petfinder Foundation.
  8. Have your likes and dislikes about blogging changed since last year? My answers to #7 last year on this topic were not very clear; jet lag was definitely taking hold. Although I enjoy the occasional post at 5 Minutes for Fido (in Tanner and Oliver's voice), I have learned that this is not my forte'. I suppose their silliness will remain a small part of my blogging efforts. As for my desire to protect dog parks from closing and work to build more, I am frustrated by a lack of inspiration on how to move forward. Time is a huge issue here. Perhaps I have too many irons in the fire and should put this project on the back burner until my intense growth spurt plateaus and I am more easily able to take on another project. This is likely what will transpire for now.
  9. Overall, are you pleased with the progress you made in 2011? When I reflect on the progress I have made in 2011 I cannot help but be thankful for good luck and some good advice. When I first started out following tips from an author in another genre, my methods may not always have been met with a smile. I learn and grow, and cannot be more pleased with the six-fold growth in my traffic since this time last year. The relationships I have with loyal readers makes it all so very worth it! Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I recall that I started this fledgling as nothing more than a way to give my days a lighter side. It's funny how things work out sometimes.
  10. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012? After hitting the #1 spot at Technorati's Pet Blog category, I've learned that holding that spot is nearly impossible. Staying in the top 10 for several months has been a complete surprise. However, I also learned that it is that growth of content and relevance that appears to be a factor in my meager success. Each new feature I have added to the blog has helped it along, and this is how I plan to continue my growth, by adding features and services that fit my niche. This year I'll continue to develop a Twitter Party plan that I can grow with. This new venture, EventBarkers, with Dogtipper, has been fun and challenging, giving me new hope for the future. Next year, who knows?!


Amy said...

A six-fold growth in your traffic is super, Carrie! Good for you. I'm glad 2011 was so good for you and I hope that 2012 brings you continued success. Thanks for participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge.

Jessica @ YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner said...

Wow! You have come a long way this year. I hope my upcoming year is as good. I am definitely going to try and make it to BlogPaws this year while it is near the west coast. Congratulations on earning the #1 spot at Technorati's Pet Blog category!

dawn said...

I wish I could write as well after all the traveling! My spell checker would be going crazy.

It was great meeting you at BlogPaws this year and great to see how much your blog has grown! I have to join in a Twitter party one of these days. Just need someone to add more time to the day.

Patrice and Higgins said...

Nice to meet you and it was great reading your answers. It seems that you did great in 2011!! Congrats!!

Bicontinental Dachshund said...

Congrats on all your success with the blog! It was great to sniff around here!

All the best for 2012!

Keep on wagging,

FANCY the Red Standard Poodle said...

Hi Y'all,

We're rootin' for y'all! Love readin' y'alls' posts.

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Edie said...

Thanks for taking part in the challenge again, Carrie -- or maybe I should have thanked you more last year when you were blogging under duress!

Congrats on your great last year showing and all the best for your continued success.

Kim Clune said...

I laughed out loud at that drunk comment, Carrie. And congrats on all of your successes! Technorati, hiring out, engaging, all of it sounds wonderful! I can't imagine the rabbits you'll pull from your hat next year at this time! It'll be exciting, to be sure!

Kolchak Puggle said...

I love what you do here Carrie, so it's no surprise that it's also very successful! You always amaze me with your ability to juggle so many things and put up so many quality posts here. I can't wait to see what 2012 brings.

Pup Fan said...

Great post - congratulations on all of your success this past year! I'm always so impressed by your volume, consistency and quality of posts. :)

Pamela said...

I'm inspired by all the creativity you bring to not only your posts but your business. And it sounds like you're having fun with it all. Now that's a great accomplishment.

Peggy Frezon said...

You are so wise and so clever, your blog is an example of how to do it right! I really love your blog, and I also thank you for being patient with me when I ask crazy questions and don't know what I'm doing!! Kelly is eagerly awaiting SuperDog Sunday!

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Vet said...

Hi Carrie! Wow, you are super busy! Fun to learn more about your blog!

Tegan said...

Wow, Carrie. Sounds like you're doing well in many aspects that we're all dreaming about. Your spot on Technocrati, your growing traffic, and your advertisements. Congratulations on all your success, and all the best for 2012.

Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said...

Envious of your growth! Yet I have to admit - I can not see us having such a busy looking page. So perhaps we are doomed to never reach the top! All the best for 2012!

Colby said...

Congratulations on all your successes in 2011! A six fold growth in traffic is amazing! I'd love to be half as successful in 2012. As you did in 2011 I'd like to attend BlogPaws 2012 and Barkworld 2012. They both sound like amazing events. Best of luck in 2012!

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